|“Photographing the Pine Barrens”
Monday – March 5, 2018
7– 9pmTalbot Community Center, Wye Oak Room
Albert D. Horner is an award-winning fine-art photographer whose images distill the quiet beauty and intimate landscapes of New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve. Self-taught, he brings curiosity, patience and a practiced eye to his craft, recording the oak and pine forests, cedar swamps, meandering waterways and native wildflowers that make the “Pine Barrens” a place like no other. “Although the Pinelands does not have mountain peaks or lush valleys with babbling streams, it does have a beauty and uniqueness all its own,” says Horner.
Horner began taking 35mm photos as a hobby, working first in black and white and then in Kodachrome. Influenced by acclaimed landscape photographers Eliot Porter and Ansel Adams, he visited scenic locations in the United States and abroad but wasn’t quite satisfied with the images he produced. Horner soon realized he needed a subject close at hand where he could monitor light and weather conditions in all seasons. For the Medford Lakes, N.J., resident that subject was the Garden State’s Pinelands, a place he had explored since childhood.
In the past decade, using digital photography, Horner has produced more than 150 stunning images taken in the Pinelands National Reserve, a region established in 1979 to protect 1.1 million acres of Southern New Jersey pinelands, the largest surviving open space from Maine to the Florida Everglades and home to a diverse ecological system that supports many threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna as well as the massive Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer.
Some 80 of Horner’s evocative photographs appear in his 2015 monograph, “Pinelands: New Jersey’s Suburban Wilderness.” In her introduction to the book, Michele S. Byers, N.J. Conservation Foundation executive director, writes, “Albert Horner’s photographic essay is an invitation to discover, explore and fall in love with the Pine Barrens. His photos capture the essence of its beauty and mystery and will undoubtedly encourage new visitors to adopt the Pine Barrens as their own intimate wild haven.”
A Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) board member and a volunteer at Wharton State Forest, Horner uses his art to advocate for conserving the ecologically important region. He exhibits his work in local galleries and in self-produced shows, and gives presentations on the Pinelands, enriched by his intimate landscapes and first-hand knowledge of the region.
PPA Executive Director Carleton Montgomery writes of Horner, “…his work helps people understand why the New Jersey Pine Barrens is so valuable, and so vulnerable.” Adds Horner, “My greatest dream is to capture the beauty of the Pinelands and, then, have those images help preserve it.”